Sunday, June 26, 2011

Half Way Point

So we have been in Moscow for 6 weeks and 1 day. We leave Moscow in 6 weeks and 1 day. We are half way through our trip. Moscow has started to feel like home. We know the city pretty well, and we are comfortable with our host family. In some ways it feels like we just got here not that long ago, but then we start to think about all the things we have done and seen and it feels like we have been here for a long time.
Things we've seen/Places we've been:
-Red Square
St. Basil's
The Kremlin
Worlds largest bell
Worlds largest cannon
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Changing of the Guard
-Moscow Metro
-Izmalovskya Renik
-Creation of the first ever LDS Stake in Russia
-Space Museum
-Church of Christ our Savior
-Sergiev Posad
-Sparrow Hills
-Pirates of the Caribbean in Russian
-Old Arbat Street
-Victory Park
-WWII Tank and Airplane Museum
-Discussion on Freedom of Speech with Russian Students
-Fallen Statues Park
-Tolstoy's Moscow House
-Grounds at Katherine the Great's Summer Palace
-Fed the Ducks at the Palace
-Watched old people dance in the park by Stephanie's house
-Ashawns (grocery store/Russian walmart)
-West Side Story, in Russian with English Songs
-Armenia v. Russia Soccer Game (Russia won)
-Lots of picnics in the park
-Catching pigeons
-Russian Bookstores
-16 ruble Ice Cream cones from McDonalds
-Sbarro Pizza
-Lots of Yummy Armenian Food!

Oh yeah...and we go to class sometimes too! And occasionally we do homework.

And then there's St. Petersburg:
-Boat Tour
-Church on the Spilled Blood
-St. Isaac's
-Kazan Cathedral
-Iron Horseman
-Hermitage Museum
-Peter and Paul Fortress
-Teremok/Carl's Jr
-Overnight Train
-Hostel with all our group
-St. Petersburg Metro (not as nice as Moscow's!)

After having been to both cities, we have decided that, while St. Petersburg is beautiful, we prefer Moscow. In the 4 days we were in St. Petersburg we saw almost everything we wanted to see. The only thing we didn't see was one of the palaces that is out side the city, and we would have done that if it hadn't been raining on Monday. Oh well, I guess we'll have to come back!

I can somewhat understand what is being said by our host family, and sometimes I can pick up on the meaning of a word before Matt can. I have been able to say a few things on my own, mostly when we are out shopping, asking how much something costs, what it is, etc. and the other day when Matt was telling our host mom that we would be going to St. Petersburg she said, in Russian, " Oh, that is such a beautiful city" AND I UNDERSTOOD HER! and I'm not talking the got the gist of what she was saying kind of understood her, I'm taking understood every word she said! It may not seem like a lot, but for me it was HUGE! 6 weeks ago I could only smile and say "Spasiva" (Thank You) but I often got it mixed up with the word for please/ your welcome (they are the same) "Pozhalista". I'm pretty sure that our host family thought I was crazy!

I need to go to bed. It's almost 1 am here in Moscow and we have school in the morning. We love and miss you all!

P.S. If you want to see pictures, look on Facebook. It's easier to put them all up on there :)